WATERVILLE — Smoking will be prohibited at most city parks, trails, playgrounds and other recreation areas if city councilors approve the ban.

Councilor George Myers Jr., D-Ward 2, proposed the ban in response to complaints from people about the dangers of secondhand smoke.

He said that the group Mainely Moms and Dads wanted the council to address smoking at the North Street recreation area. “I agreed with them and wanted to broaden it to protect more areas across the city,” he said.

Councilors took the first of three votes needed to approve the smoking ordinance on April 17. They are scheduled to take final votes May 1, according to City Clerk Patti Dubois.

Myers said Sunday that every day he sees people smoking in the North Street recreation area, often as they watch what appear to be their children playing nearby.

“If passed, this would be a baseline public health ordinance that immediately would protect kids and adults from secondhand smoke at the city’s largest recreation area,” Myers said.

The proposal would prohibit smoking within 20 feet of city-owned or maintained parks and recreation areas, except in specifically designated areas, which have yet to determined.

A smoking ordinance committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning at the Parks and Recreation Department to discuss the proposed language, which ultimately will be crafted by City Solicitor William Lee, Myers said.

Committee members besides Myers include Dana Hernandez of Mainely Moms and Dads, Councilor Erik Thomas, D-Ward 4, Parks and Recreation Director Matt Skehan, Laura Duffy and Ward 2 residents Amanda Dunn and Ann Colaluca.

Skehan said Monday he is anxious to meet with the group.

“I do think the language in the ordinance needs to be very specific so I’m able to communicate that with my parks folks,” Skehan said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]


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